A High Desert Look at the All-City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon

Last year, we got an early, early look at the All-City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon when Jeff came to town and brought the bike with him to ride in LA and the Mojave. It was like having an elephant in the room everywhere we went, or I suppose a gorilla. No matter where we took the bike, people were blown away, but quickly were told to keep it under wrap. We couldn’t acknowledge its existence. Well, last week during the NAHBS madness that ensues here once a year, All-City finally released the Gorilla Monsoon, which means I can now share my photos of this bike and a few riding shots I took during that week.

By now, if you’re a fan of All-City, an internet lurker of bicycles, or a social media master, you’ve probably already seen the Gorilla Monsoon. If you haven’t, here’s the gist. This bike is an “all-road”, designed around a 27.5 tire, with the option to run a dropper post. It has plenty of clearance and looks straight out of a small frame builder’s shop.

The strong suit of this bike is the fork, ATMO anyway. They go through extensive impact testing, akin to the same a mountain bike must endure. It’ll shred hard and stay straight, even during the gnarliest #RubberSideUp action. This fork also has rack and fender mounts for those of you who would like to take this rig on a bicycle tour or bikepacking trek.

Other than the tire clearance, it looks very similar to a Space Horse disc, felt about the same in terms of weight and looked just as capable, but the Gorilla Monsoon has a geometry tuned for singletrack shredding. All-City has really begun to check all the boxes of consumer demand in their catalog.

Personally, I’ve yet to ride one, so I won’t be able to chime in on how it rides, but I can supply photos of the bike in situ, or at least in an environment you probably haven’t seen it before. If you have questions regarding build kit, geometry and pricing, head to All-City Cycles and your local dealer! Got questions? I’ll do my best to answer them. Concerns? Let’s hear them!

  • Rudy Luthi

    Looks great, gorgeous color and that biplane fork is spectacular. I also like the look of the Rodeo Labs Trail Donkey, which seems to have a similar philosophy but in carbon (with the associated costs that brings). More drop bar bikes that handle dropper posts is better. I think it’s only a matter of time until dropper posts make it to (experimental) pure road bikes as well (since you could compromise less on seat tube angle without sacrificing out of the saddle clearance — you could go steeper for more pedaling efficiency, basically).

    • Agreed. I wish Thomson still made their droppers with the latch under the rail clamp. Would really clean up the cockpit area too…

      • Rudy Luthi

        A remote dropper lever would be a relatively easy “wireless” system to design IMO, then it could go anywhere you want. And since the posts are already $400+ for high end like Thomson or 9.8 it’s not like it’s going to add significant consumer cost on a % basis.

        • macatarere

          Yes, would be nice, surprising it’s not available already. XShifter should do it but intended for a dérailleur, two years of development, retail price might double the cost of the post.

        • Nat Whittingham

          Magura Vyron is already out there i think, Wireless dropper!

          • Rudy Luthi

            Nice! I was thinking with a solenoid and a simple ANT or bluetooth controller you could easily convert something like a Thomson external to wireless using your phone or a simple remote button. I spent 30 minutes googling solenoid specs and without knowing the required actuation force and not having a Thomson external post in my possession, it was pointless. There are definitely solenoids that are strong enough, but depending on the required force, might be fairly heavy (100g + battery weight).

      • Samuel Jackson

        I’ve heard turning a sram front shifter into a dropper actuator is relatively easy. Considering trying it at some point on my 1x bike.

        • That’s also true. But a 2x hydro shifter is a lot more $$$ than another remote option.

          • Samuel Jackson

            Oh yeah. Def makes a lot more sense if you already have the parts to facilitate it.

  • hagri777

    Rad bike, drooling all over it, put deposit with my LBS for the frame early in the morning of the day after announcement. Got the parts ready to go and this is where good news end for me. According to my LBS which is small shop – they weren’t able to secure the frame for me as distributor or All-City or both told them to not expect anything till at least Aug as everything was taken by large orders. At this point no one even knows if GM will make it in April north of the border. So far no dice to ride first release here in Canada :-). Completely understand the situation from business perspective but sucks for me. We have 6 All-City bikes between me and my wife so I wish there was at least some sort of loyalty program which would allow All-City fans to have a first grab. I missed on color matched CF fork for my pink Mr Pink and now missing out on GM.

    • Nathan Choma

      Howdy! Nate here from A/C. Gorilla Monsoons are not sold out, and we have plenty still available on the first April shipment. Sounds like a bit of mistaken info is all – shoot me an email at [email protected] and I’d be happy to help connect you/your LBS with a bike!

      • hagri777

        OMG! Thank you! I added you to email chain with my shop!

        • Richard

          Radavist as match maker. Love it.

          • hagri777

            Happy to report my order is back in business, my LBS placed an order for my frame! Nate helped to clear the confusion, Thank you!!! Now I am facing longest March in history of mankind :D

      • It’s small things like this along with bikes that absolutely shred and are easy on the eyes which make me ❤️ All City.

      • Rowdy Rollins

        For clarity, which ones are you saying are available: framesets or complete builds? Or both? I was told the exact same thing… completes available for April, but there were only a handful of framesets in the first round and they are all bought up til the next round in August.

        • Nathan Choma

          Both framesets and complete builds are still available for the April delivery. Hit me up at [email protected] and I’ll help connect you. Cheers!

  • Alex Boyd

    I’m just so stoked to see more cross-ish bike options with 650s and big tires. You maintain the pucker-factor of raising hell on a cross bike but can push the dickheadery a bit further and not die/get flats. I’m sold.

  • Apie

    Can someone tell me what year that LC is? I cannot figure it out!

    • rusty

      It has square front lights so either 88-90 and its a diesel version! John or the current owner could tell you more…

      • 1990 JDM is the 80 series. This model is the last year of the 60 series. HJ61, 1989, turbo diesel high roof.

        • Apie

          Love it. Not as lanky as the other 60’s. Thanks for the info!

          • That’s mostly due to the high roof. Makes it look more stout. The 35″ tires don’t hurt either… I miss that truck, but CARB / CHP didn’t like it, and I couldn’t register it in CA, so I had to sell it to a friend in TX.

          • Richard

            Oh that is so tragic!

    • see below

  • Peter Chesworth

    All good, another great bike to ride anywhere. A tiny gripe is the fender mount holes (for like, you know, fenders). Spacers work better than sliding fender holes.

    • Superpilot

      What’s a sliding fender hole? You mean like an untapped mounting hole that the bolt can slide in, meaning it has to be nutted to hold in place? Serious q.

      • Peter Chesworth

        Yes Super, your description is far more elegant than mine 🚴🏼 … Those mounting holes might be a historical legacy from when brakes were mounted in them,

  • MansNotHot

    It seems like this would have been bigger news if it’d been announced on a random week in August. Sorta got buried in Frostbike/NAHBS/Midnight Special coverage a little? But what do I know? I’m not an expert.

    Anyways, looks like an awesome ride. Can’t wait to read a full review. A little concerned about how much that beautiful chromoly frame weighs when you factor in the tubing thickness you’d need for off-road riding/discs (and the dropper that I’d 100% be adding), but obviously it’s not a race bike. Looks like the geometry would be perfect for me too…sigh. Do I really need both kidneys?

    • Yeah, I almost didn’t even post this, mostly because I felt like everyone already saw the bike and it isn’t really a review but I like the images and the context. :-)

      • MansNotHot

        Glad you did. The desert shots–as usual–are beautiful, but the pics in the Verdugos show why this bike shines for me. Looks perfect for the standard pavement/fireroad/singletrack whatever-you-want-to-call-it LA ride.

  • StaySaneSleepOutside

    Geometry wise, not having ridden it yet, it is REALLY close to my Sequoia… I know it’s marketed as a dirt shredder, but with road plus, as AC says you can run, would this also make a great road bike? It seems a simple swap of tires could TRULY change it from a sweet rando-esque road bike to a Tour Divide bike, as it’s geo is also extremely close to a Cutthroat, sans fork dimensions.

    • I consider “all road / gravel / adventure / road” all in the same category. If it’s got drop bars and +/- the same geo, It’s a road bike to me. Personally, I’d say this bike with a 47mm road slick would be great on paved and dirt roads. Chuck some knobby tires on it and a dropper, maybe some wider dirt drops and it’d be fun on singletrack. The build options are endless and I’m glad to see AC put this bike out there. The more “fun” and less “race” bikes, the better, IMO anyway.

      • StaySaneSleepOutside

        Thank you, John. It seems AC all but actually said this in their marketing of the bike – kinda seems like they missed out at grabbing the people looking to get a very well done road and dirt bike in one, simply with a tire/wheel swap. I don’t know of many bikes that at least seem like they’d be able to do this as well as the GM. Many can, but they’re less ideal for one or the other. Thanks for your thoughts!

        • hagri777

          Nate from AC is helping my LBS to get the frame for me in April and I will be building mine with Schwalbe G-Ones, 27.5×2.35. I had my old 1×1 setup with drops and these tires to try it out and it covers road/gravel/trails/most of the singletrack in my area nicely. So stocked for GM, can’t wait!

          • StaySaneSleepOutside

            that’s great, man. stoked for you. i put the 29×2.35 version on my ogre and a razor blade destroyed the rear tire about 2 mi into the first ride. still depressed over it. they are really thin tires in the tread area, not that a razor blade wouldn’t cut up others, too. best of luck to you. gonna be a neat bike. 2.2 race king protections would be my choice, fwiw.

          • hagri777

            That sucks! I’ve been fortunate, put around 200 km on them – so far so good. I find that 2.3+ works best for me in slicks/semi-slicks. I used to run Big Apples in 29×2.35 on my Monkey but I find they are very pressure sensitive. For more rowdy rides I have Krampus setup with 29×3 Vittoria Bomboloni and Karate Monkey with Schwalbe Nobby Nic 29×2.6. GM will be more for all road rides where I hit pavement, rail trails, hiking and equestrian trails, etc. Plus I try and carry gorilla glue with me for side cuts and rips.
            I also have G-One in 700×40 (?) on two Nature Boys, setup tubeless and mine gets most punishing rides. Also so far so good

  • I think I spy the worlds most handsome man? Can you confirm.

    • Darren? Yep!

      • That’s his other name. Hope he’s fully recovered from the Kangaroo attack.

        • Darren McElroy

          Fyxo! My brother from another mother. G’day!

  • Kawika Samson

    I’m sold.

  • Leroy

    John, I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts on how the GM compares to the Crema or the Stinner Monstercross in terms of geo and handling.
    …then illI just buy one regardless.

    • They’re different bikes. The Crema and Stinner are cross geos – Crema has a low-ish BB, Stinner a higher one – with a carbon fork and ultralight tubing. The GM has a steel fork and smaller diameter tubing. I haven’t studied all the geometries, but my inclination is the GM is closer to road geo. Hope that helps? My brain is fried today.

  • Alan

    Damn the colour of that Toyota is sweet!

    • I miss that truck!

      • Nigel Chang

        So John what happened to the truck? It was so hot….

        • I miss that truck, but CARB / CHP didn’t like it, and I couldn’t register it in CA, so I had to sell it to a friend in TX.

          • Ace Metric Cycles

            always wondered what that story was… makes sense

          • Once they deny reg it gets black listed and it can get impounded.

  • Alan

    Can you tell me about it. looks rad!

  • Rowdy Rollins

    What was the rationale for making the fork IS mount but the frame flat mount? Does the fork being lugged make it harder to keep the tolerances in spec than on unicrown fork like on a Kona Rove ST? I would rather minimize brake rub forever than minimize hassle buying parts one time, but it’s still kinda wacky. Some distributors, for example, only stock flat mount TRP Spyres now, no post mount. And if you’re moving parts over from another bike, most likely they were a matched set of either flat or post, so you’re forced to buy at least one new caliper.

    • Adem Rudin

      IS-to-Post adapter on the fork, use a post-mount caliper on both ends? Does anyone even sell native-IS mount calipers anymore??? I haven’t seen any since the 9-speed days.

      (that said, I agree that the mismatched caliper mounts are a little strange)

    • colavitos_ghost

      Am I missing something? The frame is…. not flat mount ?

      • Rowdy Rollins

        Ha, you’re totally right. I was very convinced on that being a fact, but now I’m thinking that I got it twisted with the Midnight Special. Blame it on Frostbike fever

        • You have to soak yourself in a tub of maple syrup and pancakes. That’s the only way to get over Frostbike Fever!

        • colavitos_ghost

          Lotsa cool bikes to keep track of these days!

    • Rob X

      Yeah, I was curious initially about why the fork wasn’t post mount. I’m thinking it’s that way to increase stiffness? Maybe if it had post or flat mounts, it wouldn’t provide enough stiffness, whereas the IS mount provides some more triangulation and therefore more stiffness? Who knows, maybe it was also less expensive to produce it that way. Either way, I’m stoked on the bike and definitely gonna be grabbing a frameset when they’re available. Also, BTI still has post mount Spyres!

    • Frame is not flat mount.

  • Alex Hillis

    Looks like a great ride though! Love the dropper integration.
    I see it and my brain jumps to “crust ripoff” though. That’s 100% because of the color scheme. Wish they’d put the aesthetics more in line with the rest of the All City lineup, cause I love the paneling of the current cosmic stallion and space horse.

    Also, I’m amazed at how ahead of it’s time the Soma Wolverine was. Introduced in 2014 (or earlier?) with 27.5 and 2.1’s. Props!

    • Garrett Berkey

      I’m all in for more great bikes, but the in the run up to Gorilla, it was pretty clear what/who this bike was targeting. #incrustwetrust

      • I shot this bike before the Evasion was in the Crust lineup.

        • Rick

          Buuuuut was the evasion not Crust’s very first offering…a few years ago..?

          • joshhh

            not to nitpick, but @johnprolly:disqus shot Matt’s own Crust Evasion back in 2015, which is before All-City was really developing the Gorilla Monsoon. They started in 2016, according to their own recent article: “Then 2016 rolled around and we decided that now was the time.”

            …maybe they saw The Radavist’s Evasion photos ;)

          • I thought it was a reference to the color scheme, not the bike itself. 🤷🏼‍♂️

    • Well…. The Crust Evasion wasn’t even out yet when these photos were taken. FWIW. Agreed on the Wolverine though!

    • John McTavish

      Or the Vassago Fisticuff in ~2008? Check the geometries…the Fisty nailed it ten years ago.

  • Darren McElroy

    Nice to see that sweet rig finally unleashed upon the world. Though I still prefer the name I thought we all agreed on around the fire ;-)

  • robmcnamee

    been struggling with the idea of possibly selling my 2016 piolet and buy one of these :/

  • The Gefster

    Looks like a lot of potential toe rub?

  • Matt Karwoski

    Does anyone know what the frame bag is? Are there any full frame bags that would fit this well? Thanks!

    • That’s a Revelate frame bag. “Stock” full size frame bags are hard to come by, since there isn’t a real standard a bag maker could use. There are however a number of frame bag makers out there: Porcelain Rocket, Bedrock, Rogue Panda, etc.

  • One Eyed z

    My stoke is high for this bike! A buddy got one last weekend and we spent the weekend riding. Me on my AC Macho Man and he in this new Gorilla… It rides nice! Feels a lot like my Macho only with bigger meat, which I think was kind of the idea. After putting a few miles of road and single track under the tires I was convinced and pulled the trigger on one of my very own.
    I’ve already started planning changes to the stock build and the trips I’m gonna take on it. I should probably work on getting it paid for before I get too ahead of myself.

  • deez

    I’d love to see a production bike like this with lighter gauge & smaller diameter tubing. One can dream…

  • Grant Fanning

    Spent the last several days on this bike. A few words before I fall asleep…

    The bike is RAD. Feels comfortable up top like an adventure bike (think Sequoia) and in the drops its aggressive… handles excellent. It’s got a low center of gravity for excellent corning on the trails. It is also equally at home cruising the city, grabbing snacks, locking up, etc. It’s also not nearly as heavy as it looks. (stock build)

    I could see this being a full time city slicker/trail ripper. Love it.